Tag Archives: education

Word of the Day: Preternatural


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Tired of using the word “extraordinary”? Try today’s word.

Preternatural [pree-ter-nach-er-uhl, –nach-ruhl] (adj.):

Supernatural; out of the ordinary course of nature; exceptional or abnormal.

Example:

His powers were preternatural, but he made the mistake of underestimating the strength of those around him.

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Confused Words: Seize vs Cease


 

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A few days ago, I asked a friend to read a story I wrote. I had edited the story over ten times, yet failed to spot a fatal mistake. I have misplaced the word seized with ceased, twice! So today, I’m helping you, and myself, never forget the difference.

Seize [seez] (verb):

1. to take hold by force; grasp.

2. to grasp mentally.

3. to take possession or control by suddenly laying hold.

Example:

Panic seized the crowd when the lights in the theater went out.

Cease [sees] (verb):

1. to stop or discontinue; to come to an end.

2. to pass away; die out.

Example:

I was about to walk into my house when I ceased . Something was staring at me from my bedroom window.

I noticed that the sentences I write as examples can well serve as writing prompts. So I suggest you pick one, write a story — no longer than 500 words — about it, and send it to me on the email I posted on “Contact me” page. I will pick the ones I like the most, post them and link back to the bloggers. Start writing! 🙂

Word of the Day: Cantankerous


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I have been busy for a while writing for new stories and poems. Have you missed me? 🙂

I am back for a little while and have brought a few new words, posts, and encouraging quotes with me. Today’s word is a difficult one to deal with.

Cantankerous [kan-tang-ker-uhs] (adj.):

disagreeable to deal with, contentious, peevish.

Example:

As cantankerous as he was, his friends couldn’t imagine arranging a gathering without him.

Confused Words: Ensure Vs. Insure


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Today, I’m posting the differences between another set of commonly confused words.

Ensure [en-shoor, –shur]  (verb):

1. to secure, or guarantee.

2. to make secure or safe.

Note: The prefix “en” means “to cause” or “to make”.

Example:

He took all the necessary precautions to ensure that his heist would go undisturbed.

Insure [in-shoor, –shur] (verb):

1. to secure against loss of harm.

2. to secure indemnity in case of loss, or damage.

3. to issue or process an insurance policy.

Note: Think “insurance”.

Example:

The only ones who care about your health are the ones who pay to insure it.

What are some other words your are confused about?

Word of the Day: Contrite


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Glad to be back after a few days away. I’m afraid I was terribly ill this past week. Even when the weather was hot, apparently, I should not have worn my summer clothes as my body wasn’t ready to be bear just yet. I had a fever for a couple of days, and couldn’t leave bed the whole time. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better, and I’m back to blogging with a word that describes my current feelings.

Contrite [kuhn-trahyt, kon-trahyt] (adj.):

1. caused by or showing great remorse.

2. filled by a sense of guilt and desire for atonement; penitent.

Example:

After getting a fever, I am contrite that I slipped into my summer clothes a bit too soon.

Word of the Day: Fixes of Pug


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Today, I’m exploring two words that have pug in them. They are not the word “pug” with a suffix or a prefix, they are not derivatives of each other, nor are they related to the pug dog breed. However, I thought I would share them with you anyway along with this adorable photo.

Repugnant [ri-puhg-nuhnt] (adj.):

1. distasteful, repellant, or offensive.

2. making opposition; contrary.

Example:

It was rather repugnant of him to arrive at church foully smelling of weed.

 

Pugnacious  [puhg-ney-shuhs] (adj.):

inclined to quarrel; ready to fight.

Example:

I have no intention of putting up with your pugnacioustemperament tonight!

Word of the Day: Salient


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Today’s word is outstanding, so is the photo I added to go with it.

Salient [sey-lee-uhnt, seyl-yuhnt] (adj.):

1. prominent or conspicuous

2. projecting or pointing upward

3. leaping or jumping

Example:

His salient performance on his exams earned him a scholarship to an ivy league university.

Word of the Day: Wanton


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Looking for another word that has the same meaning as malicious, evil or mean?

Wanton [won-tn] (adj.):

1. done maliciously or unjustifiably.

2. deliberate or without motive, provocative, uncalled-for.

3. without regard of what is right, just, humane.

Example:

I’ve had enough of your wanton pranks!

A Reader’s Incident


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I went out to see the dentist today (just a regular check up during which he told me that I took too much care of my teeth and people like me put him out of business). Prior to being admitted into the clinic, however, I had to wait. Since I haven’t waited for anyone, or anything, in such a long time, this particular wait proved to be one of the longest.

I arrived at 12:55 to my 1:00 p.m. appointment. There was a patient in there and an old man in the waiting room. At first, I thought he was the secretary, but then I thought against it. The room seemed tiny when I entered, but now that I recall the two large coaches and three other smaller ones I realize that the room’s size was bigger than what I had thought. I sat on a grey coach, embroidered by rectangular patterns on the sitting area. The plain remainders of the coach made me believe that the dentist was trying to salvage two different sofas and ended up with that mess.

“First time here?” the man asked, again making me think that he was the secretary.

“Yes,” I smiled politely eying the fashion magazine he clutched with his thick hands.

The muted music channel was showing a video of a five-year-old song, my phone had no internet connection, the dentist’s roaring tools indicated that I will be waiting a while, and I had no interest whatsoever in aimlessly turning the pages of a fashion magazine. All I wished in that moment was to have a book in my bag that I can read to pass the few, yet dull, moments.

Yesterday, I finished reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, an interesting classic of which I will later post a review. On my shelf, there are but two unread books: The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (a little sciency), and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. On my iPad, there are tens of unread classical and modern titles, and I still have several bought books which are stored but not yet shipped from Amazon. I hardly ever let my iPad out of the house. Leaving a few minutes prior to my appointment, I hadn’t thought that I would need any means of entertainment.

My mother told me that in Ukraine the majority of people carried books during their daily commutes. She told me that she carried a book at all times – just like we carry earphones nowadays. Not only do I envy the pre-internet culture, but I also envy the people who can read when riding a train or a bus. We don’t have trains in Lebanon; and with our bumpy roads and crazy drivers, I get motion sickness just by staring at my telephone’s screen. Mostly, however, I’m envious because I wasn’t brought up to carry a book with me at all times. In the stretched time during my wait for the dentist, I disdained my culture the most.

I grabbed my phone, and started writing. I wrote everything that came up to my mind, from a note to self to leave a 30 minute grace period between one patient and the other in case I was incarnated as a dentist, to the recapitulation of my to-do list. I wrote till the notepad told me to stop (apparently, I had reached some character limit). Then, I got my check up, went to have my nails done, waited another few minutes for the nail polish to dry (again without being entertained), and then stood across the street to wait for a cab. In that moment, I couldn’t help but head to the book store. I’m never leaving the house without a book again.